Port flies high with new cranesWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority dedicated two new mobile harbor cranes and unloaded five additional cranes recently that are headed for the new Northwest Ohio Intermodal Terminal being developed by CSX Corporation in North Baltimore.
“It’s a historic occasion for the port authority and Northwest Ohio dedicating two new cranes and unloading five cranes for CSX,” said Paul Toth, president and CEO of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.
The mobile harbor cranes will modernize material handling capabilities at the Port of Toledo by using them to handle bulk, project cargo and large containers. The new cranes are twice as productive as the port’s older cranes and more fuel efficient using 25 percent of the fuel to operate the existing ones.
The cranes are the only twin cranes of this type in operation at any Great Lakes port in the U.S., according to port authority officials. They will replace Big Lucas and Little Lucas, the cranes operating at the Port of Toledo.
Each crane stands more than 140 feet and weighs more than 240 tons with maximum capacity of 84 tons per swing. They have the capability of making 20 to 25 container lifts and 30 to 35 swings per hour, according to Joe Cappel, director of cargo development for the port authority.
“There is no container shipping on the Great Lakes but these cranes put Toledo in a good position to handle container trade through eastern Canadian ports. They will handle the existing bulk business at the Port of Toledo until container trade is established,” Cappel said.
The two cranes were assembled at the port by the manufacturer Liebherr of Austria and are expected to be in service by the end of June, Cappel said. The cranes were shipped by ocean freighter from Germany and arrived at the Port of Toledo May 17.
The funding for the $6.5 million purchase of the cranes was provided by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“It’s all about multi-modal transportation that puts this part of the state on the global map,” said David Dysard, deputy director of ODOT District 2.
The cranes are named Muddy and Spike after the mascots of the Toledo Mud Hens and Walleye teams. The winning names were submitted by Madison Phillips, an eighth grade student of Toledo, in the “Name the Cranes” contest for area students.
The additional five wide-span cranes are bound for the Northwest Ohio Intermodal Terminal under construction by CSX in North Baltimore. The cranes were made by Hans Künz GmbH in Austria, shipped by ocean vessel and arrived at the Port of Toledo this week.
The 70 containers holding the equipment for the cranes were unloaded at Midwest Terminals onto rail cars that will transport them to the CSX site.
“These cranes represent a major part of the revolution in freight transportation taking place in this region. Once installed, the cranes will reduce emissions and improve the efficiency of our operations throughout the Midwest,” said Peter Craig, terminal superintendent of the new facility for CSX.
The Northwest Ohio Terminal will employ more than 200 people when it becomes operational in 2011 with an additional 400 jobs during the construction of it. About 2,600 direct and indirect jobs will be created over the next 10 years as a result of the facility, Craig said.